Multiple Leaders: To Tear Oneself Apart

KLONDLIKE, CPAC Philosophy Desk- Can a pack of wolves have two heads, or will it tear itself apart?

The Three-Headed Monster

At the small northern Italian town of Lucca, in 56 B.C, three men sat down together for a meeting. For people to have meetings like this in the past or present would be of no unusualness; after all, is communication not the medium through which the world is run? It happened to be, however, that the three men sitting down together for a conference happened to be some of the most powerful men in the world at that time. There, at Lucca, they sat down and divided the Roman Republic up for themselves. Julius Caesar would continue to be the Governor of Gaul for a further five years, where he could finish up his conquests. Licinius Crassus, probably the wealthiest man in Rome, would receive the governorship of Syria, from where he could conquer Parthia- an empire to equal Rome’s own. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, popularly known as Pompey, would continue to be the governor of Spain; him and Crassus were also to be elected as the two consuls (akin to Presidents) of the Roman Republic for the next year.

This meeting at Lucca, in fact, was a renewal of a political alliance between the three men to control the Roman Republic. The three men were all highly ambitious, with varying personal interests and hidden agendas; something that was in common for all of them, however, was an almost insatiable desire for wealth, fame and power. If one could not achieve his ambitions by himself, then could the combined power of three achieve it? Alas, it proved unstoppable; Rome would duly be ruled for years by this alliance of three. It would become known as the rule of three, the triumvirate. “Tricanarus“, the Roman scholar Varro would call it- “three headed monster”.

It was not to last, however. The meeting was called to save an already deteriorating relationship between the three men. Even before the alliance was formed, Crassus and Pompey hated each other, and Pompey was growing to become jealous of Caesar’s military victories in Gaul. The Roman Republic, one of the three largest empires in the world at that time, was still too small to house the great egos, jealousies and ambitions of the three men. The triumvirate would manage to stay together until Crassus was killed while attempting his conquest of Parthia- Crassus was more of a banker than a general- and soon enough, Pompey and Caesar were fighting each other in a full-scale civil war. Thousands of Romans would fall fighting Romans in the ensuing battles, and Pompey would be killed by the Egyptian pharaoh. The triumvirate had not been able to withstand the ambitions of men.

Multi-leader Fondness

Somewhere along the history of armies, we began to switch from a one leader model to a multi-leader model. These days, the multi-leader model is everywhere; the only army not to have switched to a multi-leader model officially may be the Ice Warriors, whose only leader is Albert417. Elsewhere, the leader rank almost always has two or more people occupying the position. The ACP, who was almost always a one-leader army up until the Flen leadership, has two. The Nachos have up to four leaders. The RPF has two. The WV has 9 leaders: 5 active, 2 on leave and 2 temporary. (Yeah, 9 FREAKING LEADERS). Even CPAC, which up until Woton’s second retirement always had only one acting CEO, has two CEOs, not one. 

It seems like we seem to be very fond of having lots of leaders. After all, it does make life easier for a lot of us. It makes more space for the owner ranks, so we can promote more people; it puts less stress on the leaders, as there are people ready to help them at any time; it’s also easier for the retired leader who has to pick the successor- why not just put both the 2ics in charge? With all these benefits, why have one leader instead of two?

It’s not just a question of what is easier, though. It’s much more than that.

Reasons to Love

Let’s start off talking about the benefits of having more than one leader. I’ve already talked about the little comforts you get in the previous paragraph, so let’s go on and discuss more important positives.

For a start, it allows for varying opinions. It allows for judgement from more than one person. If one leader makes all the decisions, it will be only his opinion that matters, but if two leaders make decisions together, then it’s certainly going to have a more varied judgement, meaning the decisions should be better informed.

Next, it keeps ambitions in check. Once you’ve got only one leader unleashed on an army, the army is basically his to control, to use to pursue his ambitions and his own goals. Having more than one, one the other hand, would mean that the other leaders would have to agree first that these ambitions would be worth pursuing, decreasing the risk of running an army for the sole purpose of pursuing a personal agenda. In fact, in the Roman Republic, there would be two consuls chosen to run Rome each year, for the Roman Republic was a system where only the most ambitious and ruthless would get to the top. Once at the top, however, there needs to be a person holding an equal amount of power to keep you in check.

It also prevents extreme incompetence; at least, it should help prevent it. While one leader may be completely incompetent, the other leader might be competent, and this should help balance out the risks in the way that the competent leader would be able to administrate things mostly by himself.

It also allows for a more time-zone varied army. In recent years, the number of European and Australian/Asian troops have grown considerably. This means that having leaders from different time zones helps the army maintain the standards of each regional division, whereas in a one-leader, if the leader is from the United States, the UK division might be neglected.

It’s not all rosy and nice-looking, however.

Instability and Disruption

A pack of wolves cannot have more than one head, or it will tear itself apart. -Conn Iggulden

While the benefits are obvious, there are also numerous negatives to a two-leader model that may, possibly, outweigh the positives. For a start- it’s bound to get explosive once you’ve got two leaders, sharing the same amount of power, who dislike each other, or at least are in constant disagreement. 

As the quote says- if a pack of wolves is led by more than one leader, it will most likely tear itself apart. The same holds true for an army. For a multi-leader army to succeed, there has to be a substantial amount of communication and understanding between the two leaders, and also a great deal of compromise. The problem here, of course, is that a co-leader, unlike 2ics, would hold an equal amount of power to another leader, meaning that their opinion is worth exactly the same weight. Disagree, and you are in a deadlock- unless you turn to lesser-ranked generals for help. Disagree often, and the result is a constant delay in decision-making.

It might prove to be disruptive to the army, and even to the point of creating instability. In the slightly lengthy introduction, we’ve already seen how the First Triumvirate in Rome finally broke into a civil war between Pompey and Caesar; they simply disagreed too much, had their own agendas, were too jealous of each other, and had egos too large. The example would be repeated in Roman history. The Second Triumvirate, formed after the fall of the First between Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus would meet the same end. Lepidus was expelled after trying to gain control over Octavian’s armies; Octavian and Mark Antony would, like Pompey and Caesar had, engage in a bloody civil war against each other.

It is known that we can learn from history. It is also known that people who do not know their history are bound to repeat it. There has been numerous examples in armies with more than one leaders- stories of leaders who hate the other leaders, disagreements and conflicts, sometimes resulting in a coup- a forceful change in power. But of course, you can’t legally coup a leader with equal power to you- this sometimes results in a counter-coup, back and forth. Hardly healthy for any army.

The latest example, of course, may be the surfacing story of Tori and Capncook in ACP.

Capn, you are not THE leader, you are A leader. That means you hold 1/2 the power of this army. Not 3/4, not 51%, exactly 50% of the power. You know what this means? You can’t make big decisions without the approval of the person holding the other 50%, Tori…You can’t just go do what you want because you believe it to be right when the other person holding 50% of the power says no. You can deny it all you want but you’re walking all over Tori, try to get her involved if you think she isn’t active enough. -Shaboomboom

(More can be found in this special report by CPAC here)

This fits in with what we’ve been talking about throughout this post- how having another person holding an equal amount of power to another can result in disagreements and political instability.

Instability and disruption is certainly not a plus for an army, and it can help speed up the army’s own downfall.

To be sure, having only one leader may (or may not) be a better alternative to two or three. If history is bound to repeat itself, it is not only the story of having two leaders. Caesar, who was possibly trying to make himself a king, would be assassinated for his overwhelming amount of power. We all know about tyrannical dictators in armies who hold absolute power.

It all comes down to this: make the choice that is best for your army, but be aware of the implications and possible consequences. Which do you prefer- an army led by one leader, where if lucky, you might get a high level of competence from allowing the army to rise to new heights, but can also lead to destruction if the leader is incompetent, or an army led by many leaders, which keeps watch over other leaders, but can turn your army into a wreck of instability?

Thanks for reading.


CPAC Vice President

17 Responses

  1. Alright. I think this is my best post on CPAC yet, but it’s also my longest. Normal word count for my philosophy is usually between 1300 to 1500; this one is over 1700. I’m sorry for taking so much of your time lol.


  2. i feel like im being congratulated by jesus for hiring you


  3. I started reading. Then flashbacks of history class started to kick in. Naturally, i reverted to my pre-summer habits. I took a blissful nap. And dreamed of things that would get this comment banned if i went further into detail. So, thank you Splasher!


  4. Congrats Ken. Nice post!


  5. The beginning was to long, my IQ is not good enough to read it


  6. I greatly regret this but TL;DR


  7. wasnt the first multi leadership in ACP Dryvit and Saint, not Flen


  8. I remember back in the day whent here was just ONE leader. Better then.


  9. Yep


  10. The first multi acp leadership was Person and Oagal, get it right.


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